Hepcidin--central regulator of iron metabolism.Eur J Haematol. 2007 Jan; 78(1):1-10.EJ
The knowledge about mammalian iron metabolism has advanced dramatically over the past decades. Studies of genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology allowed us the identification and characterization of many of the molecules involved in regulation of iron homeostasis. Important progresses were made after the discovery in 2000 of a small peptide--hepcidin--that has been proved to play a central role in orchestration on iron metabolism also providing a link between iron metabolism and inflammation and innate immunity. Hepcidin directly interacts with ferroportin (FPN), the only known mammalian iron exporter, which is expressed by enterocytes, macrophages and hepatocytes. The direct hepcidin-FPN interaction allows an adaptative response from the body in situations that alter normal iron homeostasis (hypoxia, anemia, iron deficiency, iron overload, and inflammation).